Saturday, June 26, 2004

Fritillary on purple cloverBeautiful Day
The weather was just perfect today - sunny and in the 70s (F) with just enough breeze to keep the mosquitoes away.

There were numerous fritillaries flying around. They like the sweet purple clover, one of the many abundant wildflowers in the back three acres.

There haven't been many butterflies this year. An entomologist I met at the Kalamazoo Nature Center said it was because the weather has been too cool and wet.

Swallow nest with six two-week old hatchlings Tree Swallow Nest
The tree swallow young are two weeks old today, and they are looking like miniature swallows. This was the last day to open the nest box without risking them flying out prematurely.

I've been taking pictures for the past week with no success in getting anything that shows the little birds very well. I can hear them chirping as I approach the nest box, but as soon as I open it they dive down and cover their heads.

At the end of my ring finger is a little swallow eye peeking out to give me the evil eye. They just want me to go away so their parents can bring more food.

Dive bombing swallow parent The tree swallow parents weren't happy with me being in the nest box, either. They were both flying in circles dive bombing my head while telling me off with their chatter.

Blackberry patch Blackberry Patch
The back northeast corner of our property is a completely wild and unkept blackberry patch.

There were years when I was employed that I didn't realize it was blackberry season until it was over. This year I've been walking by the patch every day. I've seen the blossoms and I'm watching the berries ripen.

Blackberries starting to ripen Thanks to all the rain we've had this summer it looks like there is going to be a bumper crop of blackberries by the end of next week.

It's my intention to try and beat the birds and wildlife to at least three quarts. The recipes are printed out for Blackberry Crumble, Blackberry Bars, and Blackberry Snack Cake.

Bring on some sunshine and let's get 'um ripened up.

What's your favorite fresh summer produce?